Previously on Forum

Donald Trump Jr. talks with reporters during the 139th Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House April 17, 2017 in Washington, DC.

The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee is requesting interviews with Donald Trump Jr. and others involved with President Trump’s campaign about their June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer who promised to provide damaging information about Hillary Clinton. Media outlets revealed Tuesday that an eighth guest was at the meeting: Ike Kaveladze, an American-based executive at a company run by a Russian real estate oligarch with ties to Vladimir Putin. The meeting also included Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and a Russian-American lobbyist, among others. We discuss the revelation of Kaveladze’s presence and its implications for the ongoing investigations into Russian election interference. We’ll also discuss the news that President Trump had a previously undisclosed, private meeting with Putin at the G20 summit in Germany.

Tamara Keith, NPR White House correspondent

Devlin Barrett, The Washington Post national security reporter

Eric Bates, The New Republic editor

Related Articles:
Timeline Of Trump And Russia In Mid-2016: A Series Of Coincidences Or Something More? (NPR)

Trump’s Russian Laundromat (The New Republic)

Jill Tarter has devoted more than 40 years to searching for extraterrestrial life as cofounder of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute. At a time when women were discouraged from pursuing the sciences, Tarter studied engineering at Cornell and astronomy at UC Berkeley. Tarter joins us in studio, along with journalist Sarah Scoles, who’s new book, “Making Contact: Jill Tarter and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence,” explores the history and science behind Tarter’s on-going search for alien life.

Jill Tarter, former director and current Bernard M. Oliver chair, Center for SETI Research
Sarah Scoles, journalist and author, “Making Contact: Jill Tarter and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence”

Read an Excerpt of “Making Contact” at

Mentioned on Air:
Greetings, E.T. (Please Don’t Murder Us.) (New York Times Magazine)

Cars drive along a damaged street in west Mosul on July 12, 2017, a few days after the government's announcement of the 'liberation' of the embattled city from Islamic State (IS) group fighters

A week after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory in a grueling, nine-month offensive to retake Mosul from ISIS, the city is still reeling. Nearly 900,000 people have been displaced and the UN estimates it will cost more than a billion dollars to repair basic infrastructure. The victory comes without a political agreement between Iraq’s two largest communities: Sunni and Shiite Arabs. Forum discusses Iraq’s fight against ISIS and the future of Mosul.

a building on fire in Oakland

Last month, a massive four-alarm fire in Oakland consumed a building under construction near Lake Merritt, displacing nearly 700 residents. That blaze comes less year than a year after the deadly Ghost Ship fire, which killed 36 people. According to an investigation by the East Bay Times, of the 879 buildings flagged as unsafe since 2011, Oakland’s Bureau of Fire Prevention only followed up on 183 — only 21 percent. In this segment, Forum talks with Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporter Thomas Peele about why so many Oakland buildings remain unchecked.

Thomas Peele,
investigative reporter, Bay Area News Group

More Information:
‘Huge failure’: 80 Percent of Oakland Firefighter Warnings of Unsafe Buildings Go Unchecked (Mercury News)

man sitting infront of computer

Responding to email, preparing for that meeting, tidying up the kitchen. Why is it tasks like those are often put aside for things like watching tv and surfing the internet? Bay Area psychologist Mary Lamia joins us to discuss her new book, “What Motivates Getting Things Done: Procrastination, Emotions, Success.” We’ll talk to Lamia about why people procrastinate, what emotions are at play when they do, and how to improve productivity.


Mary Lamia, Clinical Psychologist in private practice, author, What Motivates Getting Things Done: Procrastination, Emotions and Success

A painting with swirling images in black, white, yellow and green.

The Transatlantic slave trade and the Jim Crow era made deep and irreversible marks in American history. But despite the segregation and racial barriers of those times, African Americans with little or no formal training produced a wide range of musical traditions and visual art. A new exhibit at the de Young Museum titled “Revelations: Art from the African American South” presents work from contemporary African American artists inspired by this cultural heritage. 


Timothy Anglin Burgard, curator of American Art, de Young Museum

Belva Davis, vice president, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Board of Trustees, former host, This Week in Northern California

Some Examples from the Show:

"Noah's Ark" a piece of art made from found wood, nails and paint, 18.75 x 68.75 x 14.5. inches.
Ralph Griffin (1952-1992), “Noah’s Ark,” ca. 1980. Found wood, nails, paint, 18.75 x 68.75 x 14.5 in.Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, museum purchase, American Art Trust Fund, and gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation from the William S. Arnett Collection. Artwork: © Estate of Ralph Griffin. (Photo: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco)
Installation view of “Revelations: Art from the African American South” at the de Young museum. (Photo: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco)
Installation view of “Revelations: Art from the African American South” at the de Young museum. (Photo: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco)

Google doled out hundreds of thousands of dollars to researchers who wrote papers supporting the company’s market dominance, the Wall Street Journal reported last week. The Silicon Valley company funded about 100 papers directly, and another 100 indirectly through Google-funded organizations. Not all of the researchers disclosed Google’s sponsorship, and some sent advance copies to Google before publishing. Brody Mullins of the Wall Street Journal joins us to discuss the story.


Brody Mullins,  investigative reporter, Wall Street Journal

Ryan Calo, law professor, University of Washington

A police officer stands with a police dog next to a BART train in Oakland, Calif.

BART Police Chief Carlos Rojas said at a press conference on Thursday that crime on BART trains, and in the stations, is on the rise. Rojas added that he will investigate ways to improve the system’s crime reporting. The statement comes after critics, including some BART board members, said the agency’s new system for reporting crime data is less transparent. Crime levels on BART have been under scrutiny after robberies where groups of youths swarmed trains and stole cell phones from passengers.

BART Crime: How Much Should The Agency Be Telling Us? (KQED News)


Dan Brekke, editor and reporter, KQED

A man with a hat, seen from behind, stares at a large departure board in a crowded terminal in New York City.

In his solitary travels, Tom Lutz seeks out places where he doesn’t know anyone, or speak the language. His latest book, “Drinking Mare’s Milk on the Roof of the World,” depicts encounters with people across the globe, from a casino in Tanzania to disputed parts of Ukraine. Along the way, Lutz tries to understand his compulsion to travel down the unfamiliar path. Lutz, also the founder and editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Review of Books, joins us in studio.


Tom Lutz, author, “Drinking Mare’s Milk on the Roof of the World: Wandering the Globe From Azerbaijan to Zanzibar,” editor-in-chief, Los Angeles Review of Books

A woman with dark glasses listens to an iPod mini on a summer day.

Ah, summertime. The perfect time of year for vacations and long, winding road trips through forests, deserts and… traffic from everybody else trying to get out of town. But extra time in the car means extra time to catch up on your favorite podcasts. We’ll hear from two podcast experts about shows with everything from crime mysteries to podcast musicals. And we want to hear from you: What podcasts keep you entertained during summer trips?


Ashleyanne Krigbaum, host, The Spot

Lauren Ober, host, The Big Listen

Podcasts from guests:

A doctor holds a stethoscope on a patient's back.

Senate Republicans released their updated plan to repeal and replace Obamacare on Thursday. The bill, so far, has failed to unite the GOP.  At least two Republican senators are expected to vote against it, and two other Republican senators  released an alternative plan. Forum discusses the health policy, and the politics, of the GOP plan.


Carrie Feibel, health editor, KQED
Julie Rovner, chief Washington correspondent, Kaiser Health News

President Trump speaks to French President Emmanuel Macron.

President Trump traveled to Paris on Wednesday, two days before Bastille Day, the French national day. Trump will participate in a joint news conference in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron where Trump will likely be asked about the revelations that his son met with a Russian lawyer who offered dirt on Hillary Clinton. NPR will cover the conference live.  In this two-hour show, Forum discusses the president’s visit to France and the developing news about the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia.


Mike Dorning, deputy White House editor, Bloomberg News

Mugambi Jouet, fellow, Stanford Law School, author, “Exceptional America: What Divides Americans From the World and From Each Other”

David Mark, executive editor, Morning Consult

Bruce Cain, professor of political science, Stanford University

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